Need: To help low-income and rural community members access health information at their libraries.
Intervention: C4CH trains Master of Library and Information Science students to become health information resources for underserved communities.
Results: The first cohort has 10 students.
Community Health (C4CH) is a cohort of 10 Master of
Library and Information Science (MLIS) students at the
University of Missouri School of Information Science &
Learning Technologies who become health information
resources for underserved communities. These students:
Take online classes and complete part of their
training in public libraries as well as community health
Take classes part-time so that they are still able to
Develop a cross-disciplinary curriculum about
Build local networks including libraries and
community health settings like hospitals, senior centers,
and school programs
Learn how to create public
programs with open-access health information resources
Program coordinators recruited students from the Network
of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) MidContinental
Region: Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, and
Wyoming. The current cohort consists of students from
Colorado, Missouri, and Nebraska.
Develops outreach and programming with students and
Trains students to lead community health information
Provides support to students through a mentor (a
local librarian) and a peer mentor (a graduate assistant)
Ten students have been recruited for this program. These
students created the following guides for their
References Sources & Services class:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health
Self Care: Mental Health Resources for Adults
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students could not work
with community partners in person or work inside their
own libraries at times. Instead, students worked with
partners and completed projects online. While there are
disadvantages and challenges to working remotely, program
coordinators say that these remote opportunities have
proven fruitful to students, who were able to work these
online projects into their community and classwork.
It is difficult to fund interdisciplinary work through
the university budget process, which may make funding
C4CH difficult after the grant period.
Recruit students who live in the underserved rural areas
you want to serve. Reach out to colleges and
universities, if applicable, as well as public libraries.
Ask librarians if they have any employees who would like
to earn their master's degree but haven't had the
opportunity to do so. Recruit students who are interested
in staying in their communities and helping improve the
health of community members.
Work closely with faculty in other disciplines to make
sure that information from the cross-disciplinary
curriculum is still useful to students as librarians.
Meet with other faculty to discuss your needs and purpose
for the program, and work with an advisory team to figure
out how different courses are relevant or useful.
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.